World Literature Honours

Bachelor of Arts


This program, intended for outstanding students who wish to study world literature beyond the major program’s course work, requires concentrated research and writing on a topic that has been approved by the program.

The program's language of instruction is English. Students are encouraged to study languages and to study abroad.

For further information, visit


Admission Requirements


Entry to the program is competitive, and by application. Only a small number of students are admitted each year.

To apply, students complete the same lower division requirements as the major program, WL 300, 301W and two other 300 division WL courses, and six units of language study in either the lower or upper division (see below).

Applicants must have a minimum 3.67 grade point average (GPA) in World Literature courses, and a minimum 3.33 cumulative grade point average (CGPA).


Language Requirements

Honours students complete 12 units of language study, which may include courses completed during study abroad or field schools, or an approved equivalent.

Honours students who intend to apply for graduate school are also encouraged to complete a minimum of three units of literature in a language other than English. This may be fulfilled by completing a WL directed reading course (WL 450) or by completing an upper division course in another Simon Fraser University department. With prior approval, students can complete an upper division course at another university.

Program Requirements

Students complete 120 units, as specified below.

Lower Division Requirements

Students complete a total of 21 units, including

WL 100 - What is World Literature? (3)

one 100-level WL Writing course


WL 200 - How to Do Things with World Literature (3)

plus 12 additional lower division WL units, at least 6 of which must be taken at the 200 level

*Students may count one 2nd year language course (3 units) toward their lower division WL units.

Upper Division Requirements

Students complete a minimum total of 48 upper division WL units, including both of

WL 300 - How Ideas Travel (4)

WL 301W - Writing and Research (3)

plus 33 additional upper division WL units, of which at least 8 must be taken at the 400 level

plus both of

WL 480 - Research Seminar for Honours Essay (4)

WL 490 - Honours Graduate Essay (4)

Information on submitting the Honours thesis to the SFU Library/Summit can be found here.

Relevant Topic Courses

With prior approval, students may complete a maximum of three lower and eight upper division units of relevant topic courses from outside the World Literature Program (courses offered at Simon Fraser University or our field schools and exchanges) by submitting the course description to the world literature advisor. The following pre-approved courses are appropriate.

ENGL 207 - Twentieth Century Literatures in English (3)

ENGL 392 - Studies in World Literatures in English (4)

ENGL 492W - Topics in World Literatures in English (4)

CA 341 - World Music (3)

FREN 342 - Francophone World Literature in Translation (3)

HUM 309 - Literatures and the Arts Across Cultures (4)

Study Abroad

Students are encouraged to study abroad, through field schools or exchanges. World literature major students may complete up to 15 upper division units at other universities or other universities' field schools and exchanges with prior approval. Submit the relevant course description to the world literature advisor well in advance of the course.

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Honours Requirements

For all bachelor of arts (BA) honours programs, students complete at least 120 units, which includes

  • at least 60 units that must be completed at Simon Fraser University
  • satisfaction of the writing, quantitative, and breadth requirements
  • students complete at least 60 upper division units, which must include at least 48 units in upper division courses in a Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences honours program; no more than 15 upper division units that have been transferred from another institution can be used toward this requirement
  • Students complete lower division requirements for at least one Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences honours program
  • students are required to achieve an overall cumulative grade point average (CGPA) and upper division CGPA of at least 3.0, and an honours program CGPA and upper division CGPA of at least 3.0

Writing, Quantitative, and Breadth Requirements

Students admitted to Simon Fraser University beginning in the fall 2006 term must meet writing, quantitative and breadth requirements as part of any degree program they may undertake. See Writing, Quantitative, and Breadth Requirements for university-wide information.

WQB Graduation Requirements

A grade of C- or better is required to earn W, Q or B credit




W - Writing


Must include at least one upper division course, taken at Simon Fraser University within the student’s major subject
Q - Quantitative


Q courses may be lower or upper division
B - Breadth


Designated Breadth Must be outside the student’s major subject, and may be lower or upper division
6 units Social Sciences: B-Soc
6 units Humanities: B-Hum
6 units Sciences: B-Sci


Additional Breadth 6 units outside the student’s major subject (may or may not be B-designated courses, and will likely help fulfil individual degree program requirements)

Students choosing to complete a joint major, joint honours, double major, two extended minors, an extended minor and a minor, or two minors may satisfy the breadth requirements (designated or not designated) with courses completed in either one or both program areas.



Residency Requirements and Transfer Credit

  • At least half of the program's total units must be earned through Simon Fraser University study.
  • At least two thirds of the program's total upper division units must be earned through Simon Fraser University study.

Elective Courses

In addition to the courses listed above, students should consult an academic advisor to plan the remaining required elective courses.